2024 Collaborative Futures Mini Conference Program Announced

  • Posted on: 6 May 2024
  • By: Katrina

Every year, the online Collaborative Futures Mini Conference brings together experts from across Ontario to share their learnings and experiences working with collaborative library technologies.

For 2024, we’re thrilled to announce a program that explores analytics, workflows, accessible discovery and more!

About the Mini Conference

The Collaborative Futures Mini Conference is hosted on Zoom. Presentations will be recorded, and live auto-captions will be available throughout the event. Registration is free and open to anyone working at Ontario academic libraries.

  • Date: Wednesday, June 5
  • Time: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Mini Conference Program


Time Session Description Presenters Materials
9:30-9:45 a.m. Welcome Robin Canuel, Collaborative Futures Steering Committee Chair (Lakehead University)  
9:45-10:15 a.m. Combining data fields of multiple subject areas in Alma Analytics using SQL Join

A technique to combine data fields of subject areas that cannot be combined using traditional analysis approaches. This technique helps to avoid manually combining data elements from reports generated separately using different subject areas and saves time by making combined reports accessible using a single Alma Analytics object.

Nirmal Prasad, Reporting and Assessment Analyst (University of Waterloo) Slides - Combining data fields of multiple subject areas in Alma Analytics using SQL Join (PDF)

Slides - Combining data fields of multiple subject areas in Alma Analytics using SQL Join (PPTX)

10:15-10:30 a.m. Maximizing E-Collection Management Efficiency with Community Zone Updates Task List

At the University of Guelph, our Electronic Resource and Metadata Team is dedicated to ensuring the relevance and currency of our e-collection. In this focused presentation, we will delve into our systematic process for reviewing and taking action based on the "Community Zone Updates Task List" reports generated within Alma. We will swiftly outline our approach, emphasizing key strategies for rapid review and decision-making. Attendees will gain practical insights into our team's roles, responsibilities, and workflows designed to maximize the utility of these reports within our e-collection management practices. Additionally, we will briefly discuss the tangible impact of our decisions on e-collection best practices. Through concise examples and outcomes, we will demonstrate how our handling of these reports directly enhances the quality, relevancy, and accessibility of our e-collection resources.

  • Iman El Gamal, Collections Development Librarian (University of Guelph)
  • Andrea Bee, Library Associate (University of Guelph)
Slides - Maximizing E-Collection Management Efficiency (PDF)
10:30-10:45 a.m. Why are there so many M&M boxes on the third floor?

Keep @ Downsview won the OCUL Outstanding Contribution Award in 2017. The six libraries involved are touting the project for its ability to help meet institutional goals, such as preserving materials indefinitely, clearing up high value space for students, and weeding low use materials without fear. As librarians at McMaster working on the project's periphery, we are tasked with reaching these goals, and can offer perspectives to increase awareness of the complexities involved with participating in shared print initiatives. This presentation will provide an overview of the challenges associated with shared print preservation, how we have handled these issues, and considerations for future preservation work. We will also discuss how this project affects collection development at McMaster University Libraries, including the work ahead for new Collection Strategy librarians, including weeding. This presentation will go over using the Alma item updater app to correct item level metadata in bulk, using the Alma Enumerator program, and reviewing Alma Analytics reports used to rush weeding estimates for long-term shelf requirements. 

  • Matthew Fesnak, LSP and Discovery Services Librarian (McMaster University)
  • Paige Roman, Collections Strategist Librarian (McMaster University)
  • Cameron Wheaton, Collections Strategist Librarian (McMaster University)
Slides - Why are there so many M&M boxes on the third floor? (PDF)
10:45-11:00 a.m. BREAK    
11:00-11:30 a.m. Big Picture of Alma Workflows: Dissection in Alma Workflows post migration & pandemic

Alma workflows were in their infancy when staff were suddenly sent home due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in learning Alma, at the same time as, adapting to the increased siloed nature of work from home, and creating workarounds to accommodate a global shutdown. Since 2020, much has been done to optimize working in Alma, however, we set out to discover if we zoomed out, were we still working in ways that reflected this eventful Alma launch. The goal of this project was to identify where processes became disjointed, or errors were introduced during interdepartmental handoffs. The role of Alma Governance was to identify pain points for staff and develop a framework for facilitating conversations across units to help discover leftover processes from previous systems, or times, and establish smoother workflows. To develop a model, we mapped the New Print Book Process from acquisition to shelf, as our units work closely, and we were readily familiar with the process. Using the framework developed in the New Print Book Process, we trained teams and provided resources for how to work through cross-departmental workflow mapping. Join us in learning about the process and what we discovered along the way.

  • Johanna Whitson, Head, Cataloguing and Metadata Services (University of Waterloo)
  • Alexa Evans, Acquisitions Manager (University of Waterloo)
Slides - Big Picture of Alma Workflows (PDF)
11:30-11:45 a.m. Improving accessible discovery and reading experiences: Collaborating to integrate a “Get Alternate Format” link into Primo VE brief records

We provide a brief overview of a collaborative project to improve Omni for users with print disabilities. Laurier, McMaster, and Scholars Portal collaborated to integrate a “Get alternate format” link into Omni brief records. The purpose of these links is multifold: 1) to provide users with print disabilities an avenue within Omni to start a local remediation process and 2) to involve Scholars Portal in a supporting capacity. We describe our respective origins stories for this feature, the common destination in the Collaborative Futures Accessibility Monitoring Table, and the collaborative teamwork that emerged to make it a reality.  Partner libraries are invited to join this collaborative project. While more support is needed to make Omni user experiences more inclusive, it is a collaborative step in that direction.

  • Mark Weiler, Web and User Experience Librarian (Wilfrid Laurier University)
  • Bart Kawula, Web and Discovery Services Librarian (Scholars Portal)
  • David Kemper, Digital Experiences Librarian (McMaster University)
  • Debbie Lawlor, Developer (McMaster University)
  • Dillon Moore, Head, Digital Initiatives (Wilfrid Laurier University)
  • Cindy Shen, Application Developer (Wilfrid Laurier University)
  • Matt Thomas, Temporary Head, Information Resources (Wilfrid Laurier University)
  • Nancy Waite, Coordinator, Library Accessibility Services (McMaster University)
Slides - Improving accessible discovery and reading experiences (PDF)

Slides - Improving accessible discovery and reading experiences (PPTX)

11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. LendIT, the all-in-one solution for self-serve: The overall experience at uOttawa

The University of Ottawa Libraries recently opened a new location at the Health Sciences campus. Unlike our other library locations, there are no in-person services on-site. Instead, we manage fulfillment using D-Tech’s LendIT, a self-serve machine resembling a vending machine. This choice was made based on the needs we formulated during the call for tenders: the machine must handle holds, loans, returns and course reserve material permanently and automatically. LendIT was the only solution that made it easy to manage the reserve. Currently, uOttawa is the only university in Ontario to own LendIT. This presentation may intrigue some partners who would be interested in acquiring this solution and integrating it into Alma. This presentation will explain what LendIT is, its functionalities and specifications. It will also highlight differences between some systems we analyzed during the acquisition process and the reasons for selecting LendIT. Realisations and setbacks during the project implementation and configuration using Alma will be presented. The system is operational since October and user experience and statistics will be shared. A short video of the various steps involved in picking up a book from LendIT will be shown.

Marie-Hélène Tanguay-Bérubé, Systems Librarian (University of Ottawa) Slides - LendIT, the all-in-one solution for self-serve (PDF)
12:15-12:25 p.m. Open Q&A    
12:25-12:30 p.m. Closing Remarks Anika Ervin-Ward, Assistant Director, Collaborative Initiatives (OCUL)  

Contact Us

If you have any event accessibility needs or questions about the online Collaborative Futures Mini Conference, please email ocul-cf [at] ocul.on.ca.